White House press Secretary Sarah Sanders delivered a scathing assessment of James Comey, slamming the former FBI director as a “disgraced partisan hack.”
During the White House press briefing on Friday, Sanders responded to ABC News’ Cecilia Vega who asked if President Trump was worried about anything Comey was saying or had revealed in his memoir. The president blasted the fired FBI chief as a “liar” and a “leaker” in tweets on Friday.
“The American people see right through the blatant lies of a self-admitted leaker,” Sanders responded.
“This is nothing more than a poorly executed P.R. Stunt by Comey to desperately rehabilitate his tattered reputation and enrich his own bank account by peddling a book that belongs in the bargain bin of the fiction section instead of being remembered as a dedicated servant in pursuit of justice like so many of his other colleagues at the FBI,” Sanders continued.
“Comey will forever be known as a disgraced partisan hack that broke his sacred trust with the President of the United States, the dedicated agents of the FBI, and the American people he vowed to faithfully serve,” she added. “One of the president’s greatest achievements will go down as firing director James Comey.”
Later in the briefing, Sanders defended the president and his respect for law enforcement and the rule of law as she turned on the media, accusing them of “praising” Comey and “propping him up” instead of focusing on other issues.
“You guys spend hours upon hours every single day praising Jim Comey, propping him up, giving him the biggest platform,” Sanders said. “We shouldn’t be praising him. We should be putting him down and taking him off of air instead of giving him minute after minute.”
“This country has a lot of real problems. We should be talking about the economy and Syria and the drug crisis. But instead, we’re going to talk about Jim Comey,” she said. “You guys will cover it endlessly all day today. All day tomorrow and my guess every day next week with very little time given to the issues that people care about. So the president has every right to call out that individual that you guys are propping up and saying that there are problems and that we should be concerned about it.”
In a lighter moment during Friday’s briefing, Sanders poked fun at CNN’s Jim Acosta after he tried to ask another question.
“Sarah–if I could just ask a second follow-up question…” Acosta began after Sanders had already addressed his previous one.
“Well, because it’s Friday,” she joked.
“It’s Friday, yeah,” Acosta replied.
“And you’d probably get really upset, not only that, if I didn’t,” Sanders poked back.
“Not at all, not at all,” Acosta said, before going on with his question.
“You’ve probably seen this tweet it was a tweet that you posted before the election in 2016–‘When you’re attacking FBI agents because you’re under criminal investigation, you’re losing.’ What do you make of that now?” he asked.
“The rank and file FBI are some of the greatest people in this country,” Sanders responded. “We’ve repeated that time and time again, and certainly have the full support of this administration. I think that we’ve been very clear though how we feel about some of the leadership at the FBI, particularly James Comey.”
But Acosta actually went in for a third question.
“When you go after Comey…” he began before Sanders chided him.
“I did give you two, Jim,” she said.